Skip to main content

Full text of "Authority and the individual"

See other formats

expected from the work; the other is the divorce
between the management and the worker.
As for the remoteness of the gain: suppose you
are engaged at the present time in some subordinate
part of the manufacture of some commodity for
exportólet us say again a motor car. You are told,
with much emphasis, that the export drive is neces-
sary in order that we may be able to buy food. The
extra food that is bought as a result of your labour
does not come to you personally, but is divided
among the forty million or so who inhabit Britain.
If you are absent from work one day, there is no
visible harm to the national economy. It is only by
an intellectual effort that you can make yourself
aware of the harm that you do by not working, and
only by a moral effort that you can make yourself do
more work than is necessary in order to keep your
job. The whole thing is completely different when
the need is obvious and pressing, for instance, in a
shipwreck. In a shipwreck the crew obey orders
without the need of reasoning with themselves, be-
cause they have a common purpose which is not
remote, and the means to its realization are not
difficult to understand. But if the captain were
obliged, like the government, to explain the prin-
ciples of currency in order to prove his commands
wise, the ship would sink before his lecture was
Divorce between the management and the worker
has two aspects, one of which is the familiar conflict